Sport class profiles

The following are incomplete descriptions providing a very general profile of each sport class. These descriptions are by no means complete, and an athlete may display certain characteristics of higher or lower sport classes.

Class 0.5

Typical role on court

Main role is as blocker, not a major ball handler

Chair skills/function
  • Because of extensive proximal shoulder weakness and lack of triceps function forward head bob present when pushing
  • Because of lack of triceps, pulls on back part of the wheel for push stroke using biceps by bending elbows; elbows are also out to side when pushing (called an “unopposed biceps push”)
  • Because of wrist extensor weakness and lack of other wrist and hand function, may use forearm on wheel for starts, turns and stops
Ball skills/function
  • Because of proximal shoulder weakness, arm and wrist weakness, traps direct passes on lap or bats it in from limited range
  • Bats ball using “underhand volleyball pass” for longer range pass or for shorter range pass uses “scoop pass” with the ball forward to the side uses a two-hand toss

Class 1.0

Typical role on court

Blocker, may in-bound ball, not a major ball handler

Chair skills/function
  • Because of proximal shoulder weakness and triceps weakness, may have slight head bob when pushing, but has a longer push on wheel (combination of push and pull on back part of wheel)
  • Because of increased strength in upper chest  and shoulders, multidirectional start, stop and turn (Can turn in all directions without stopping; easier and faster turning than 0.5 athlete; but because of triceps and wrist weakness, 1.0 athlete may still use forearm)
Ball skills/function
  • Forearm or wrist catch
  • Weak chest pass or forearm pass

Class 1.5

Typical role on court

Excellent blocker and also may be occasional ball handler

Chair skills/function
  • Increased shoulder strength and stability allows for more effective and efficient pushing ball handling skills
Ball skills/function
  • Increased shoulder strength and stability allows for some distance and consistency to chest pass
  • Typically has wrist imbalance that causes limited ball security when passing
  • May have asymmetry present in arms. If so, predominantly uses the stronger arm for chair and ball skills

Class 2.0

Typical role on court

Increasing role on court as ball handler

Chair skills/function
  • Typically has very strong and stable shoulder that allows for good pushing speed on court
Ball skills/function
  • Effective chest pass with control over moderate distance
  • Because of lack of finger flexion, there is limited ball security against defence during passing
  • Can hold the ball with wrists firmly, but does not have hand function

Class 2.5

Typical role on court

Ball handler and fairly fast playmaker

Chair skills/function
  • Because of excellent shoulder strength and stability will see good pushing speed on court
  • Functional grip is used to advantage on the pushrim when challenged
  • May have some trunk control giving better stability in the chair
Ball skills/function
  • Reasonably balanced finger flexion and extension without true grasp and release
  • Dribbles the ball safely, but supinates forearm to scoop the ball onto the lap
  • Due to finger flexion strength capable of performing one-handed overhead pass, but limited accuracy and distance because of imbalance in finger strength
  • Safe two handed catching of passes, usually scooping ball to lap. May catch passes single handed and scoop to lap or chest
  • Improved ball security compared to 2.0 hand due to improved ability to isolate wrist/finger function
  • May have asymmetrical arm or hand function, noticeable with chair and ball handling skills

Class 3.0

Typical role on court

Very good ball handler and fast playmaker

Chair skills/function
  • Because of balanced finger function, athlete can grip wheelchair rim increasing pushing speed
  • May have some trunk control giving better stability in the chair
Ball skills/function
  • Because of function in fingers, can control ball in varying planes of movement for passing, dribbling, catching and protecting ball during these activities
  • Can dribble and pass ball well with one hand
  • Multiple dribble one handed with control
  • Stabilizes with the opposite arm to allow greater reach (if the athlete has no trunk function)

Class 3.5

Typical role on court

Major ball handler and very fast playmaker. Often primary ball handler and playmaker on team

Chair skills/function
  • Has some trunk function, therefore very stable in wheelchair and able to use trunk for ball and chair skills
Ball skills/function
  • Because of combination of hand and trunk function, usually has excellent ball control with controlled one hand passing for distance and excellent ball security during passing and receiving
  • May have asymmetrical arm or hand function, noticeable with chair and ball handling skills